Not Martha

me and Jack Bishop and Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook!

Guess what? I get to interview Jack Bishop tomorrow! You know, from Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen:

He’s in town talking about the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America’s most Trusted Food Magazine. I’m totally geeking out over this. So, do you have any you’ve always wanted to know? I’m your girl. Post questions here and I’ll bring back answers.

· comments [24] · 10-25-2011 · categories:books · food ·

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Seanna Lea // Oct 25, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I don’t have a question per se, but I do want to know more about working in the food industry (especially breaking into it). I feel like I do more cooking than nearly anything else, and have been day dreaming about opening my own ice cream shop for a year now.

  • 2 Betty Behrens // Oct 25, 2011 at 6:02 am

    OOOOOH, lucky girl! I’ve always been curious where they find their “tasters” – when Jack is telling Chris about whatever product/food, etc., they’ve selected as the best, I always wonder who the testers are – do they go to the mall and pick random people? is it the studio audience? is it friends & family of the ATC staff?

  • 3 Rebecca // Oct 25, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Hee. I don’t have any questions, but I get such a kick out of Jack Bishop on the PBS ATC show. He always comes across as charmingly awkward and geeky.

  • 4 KWu // Oct 25, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Nice scoop! My question is whether when the CI cooks cook for themselves and their family at their home, do they always use and follow the CI-tested best recipes? Or do they have their own preferences they follow due to how they’re used to a certain dish tasting or lack of time and skipping the more involved steps?

  • 5 Paulina J! // Oct 25, 2011 at 6:59 am

    I’m a big fan of ATK and have a few of their cookbooks. I’ve recently changed my diet to be wheat/gluten free. My question would be, would they ever consider doing a cookbook or test gluten free recipes?

  • 6 Ella // Oct 25, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Ditto to Paulina – I think people on lots of special diets would really appreciate their thorough recipe testing, so the food tastes good as well as being safe to eat.

  • 7 SusieR // Oct 25, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I’d love to know what the worst product was he had to taste test. Has he ever had to review a product he just couldn’t stand?

  • 8 Michelle // Oct 25, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Seconding Paulina J and Ella’s question about gluten-free recipes. I’d love to have some substitution tips from the Test Kitchen.

  • 9 megan // Oct 25, 2011 at 9:04 am

    These are great questions, thank you!

  • 10 Nancy // Oct 25, 2011 at 9:07 am

    How fun! I really enjoy the Cook’s Country Kitchen.

    I was just wondering what his top few things he learned through all of the recipe testing or product testing that may have rocked his world?
    I want him to fill in the blanks: If people would learn how to or about _____ (tip/technique) it would change their culinary lives.

    What are his family’s favorite go to foods?

    What are his favorite comfort foods?

    What would his last meal be?

    Who would he love to cook for? Or be invited to dinner by?

    Have a great time, Megan!

  • 11 Janet S // Oct 25, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I received a sample copy of “Cook’s Country” and was wondering why they felt the need to create another magazine.

  • 12 jen // Oct 25, 2011 at 9:23 am

    How exciting! I can’t wait to read the interview.

    Since it’s starting to get cold around here, can he tell us what are his favorite vegetarian comfort food recipes?

  • 13 Sarah // Oct 25, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I love everything ATK! It has to be the mecca for type-A cooks. I’ve always wondered what techniques he might swear by in his own kitchen, only to have the Test Kitchen prove him “wrong”.

    I’d also love to know if they’d ever consider more vegetarian/vegan recipes.

  • 14 Val Ann C // Oct 25, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Question for Jack:
    Any promising developments for gluten-free bakers?
    IMO, today’s GF bakers seek to faithfully imitate their favorite glutenous pie crusts and layer cakes — at the expense of taste and texture. Nearly all GF baking formulas contain ingredients that add unpleasantness to the baked product. Ingredients like garbanzo flour, xanthan gum, or too much gritty rice flour.

    We need GF baking formulas that are tasty and toothsome in their own right — not slavish reproductions of wheat-based treats. The holy grail is a real pizza crust that doesn’t contain xanthan gum.

    Thanks Megan. Have a great visit with Jack.

  • 15 Abigail // Oct 25, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Tell the marketing/sales woman with him happy belated birthday!

  • 16 Miss B // Oct 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Oh, that’s so neat! I love watching Cook’s Country/America’s Test Kitchen (though I’ve never been too tempted by any of their recipes or methods, honestly, but I do love to watch the show, in large part because I really love both Chris and Jack). I’m with the people who want to know if they would ever consider doing shows that didn’t involve pretty much all meat recipes, all the time. I think that practically the only time I’ve ever seen them cook something that didn’t have some kind of meat/meat-product in it is when they are cooking dessert or the occasional side dish. Half the time even the salads and side dish recipes they use include bacon or something. Also, what about recipes that are more…nutritionally dense? They never seem to be too concerned over whether what they are cooking might be completely devoid of any real nutrients or anything, and just focused on making it taste a certain way. I’m not talking about gross low-calorie nonsense or anything silly like that, but it would be nice to see some actual vegetables (beyond, like, carrots and potatoes) or whole grains or better fat-sources — I mean, anyone can throw a stick of butter into a recipe to make it taste good, but a lot of people don’t know what to do with coconut oil/milk and other plant-based fat sources. (It’s possible the magazine has this sort of thing in it, but the show definitely does not…which is why I’ve never bought the magazine, I guess.)

  • 17 Patr // Oct 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Worst taste test
    Best taste test
    and what happens when there is no clear winner or looser? do they just ‘pass’ on making Mr. Kimball airing that item.

    I LOVE ATK, but I really enjoy Cooks Country more than ATK. I spend hours devouring each issue. (literally – I cook so many of the recipes after issue arrives) I have started using the Alabama white BBQ sauce on so many different meats. That has been the TOP winning recipe in 5 years of reading.

  • 18 jamieofalltrades // Oct 25, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Fun! I can’t wait hear about your meeting!

  • 19 Minerva // Oct 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I would be interested to know more about “supertasters.” He’s mentioned them a few times on the show (apprently Chris Kimball is one) and I would like to know more about what that means and how you can tell.

  • 20 Kate Pierce // Oct 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    How long does it take for a recipe to go from an idea to published? There’s all those iterations they go through and then I read somewhere that they send out the recipes to home cooks before publishing them to make sure the recipes are well written. I’m curious a) is that true and b) how long does it take?

  • 21 Nathalie // Oct 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    So my Q is probably not appropriate, but I totally want to know if Christopher Kimball is as pompous as he appears. Maybe a question like “What is Chris Kimball really like when you get to know him? Is he different than how he presents himself on the TV shows?”
    And also, I second the question about tasters – where do they come from and how can I be a taster? :-)

  • 22 Nancy // Oct 26, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I am anxious to hear about your interview with JB, Megan! How was it?!?! What did you end up asking?

  • 23 Leslie // Oct 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    My question is similar to Nathalie’s.

    I have always had the impression that JB really doesn’t like Christopher Kimball, like he is just barely tolerating him. I want to know if this is true . . . but of course, not a very easy or polite question to ask. But I’ve wondered this for years . . .

  • 24 karin // Oct 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    He did a fishbowl as well; super fun and entertaining. He told us about how they determined that the best way to measure flour (if you weren’t weighing it) is to dip the measuring cup into the bin and level it off (rather than spooning the flour into the cup), because they had 20 people do both and came up with 10% variance with dip/level and 20% variance with spooning. Also, that 20-30 year olds want recipes for the best Siracha or American Cheese, but that their normal Cook’s Illustrated audience isn’t quite so interested in those esoteric sorts of recipes.

    Can’t wait to hear how your interview with him went!

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